Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
I agree with all of the one's that say lessons will help. You also need to remember that if you're nervous when you get on, the horse WILL pick up on it. In their brain they are thinking, "if she's nervous, there is a reason I should be too", in human speak of course ;).
Always ask as many questions as needed! I've been around horses my entire life, and I'm STILL learning. Both from friends that I ride with and the people on here. Life in general is a learning experience, and I try to learn something every day.
After my 2nd throw last year, I traded my big saddlebred gelding in on a small TWH (a been there, done that type), because any shred of confidence I had left was completely gone. The very first ride I took her on when I got her home, I had called the lady I was supposed to be riding with and told her that I had to cancel. I was terrified. Her exact words were "Get your butt over here. I'm not going to let you back out on me." Needless to say, my little mare was my much needed confidence builder. I have more confidence now than I guess I ever have had, which is one reason I bought Rookie in April. He's harder to handle, but has that willing to learn ability, the wanting to please personality, and as many times as he could have, he has NEVER done anything to hurt me. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I was better off wearing spurs with him, after I let a friend ride. Just because he had been ridden with them by the lady who owned him for the first 8 years of his life. In a group trail ride, he would prance really hard and turn sideways with me...which did scare me because it would be a teeth jarring prance, and he always had to be in front for him to go at a normal walk. He was picking up on my fear so bad that I was taking a nerve pill before I would get on him. Then it escalated to the point that he would halfway rear when I took him away from the other horses. He had the past two weeks off because of a place that he had rubbed raw at the base of his mane. I rode him for the first time after his two week rest yesterday (with the spurs of course) in another large group ride. He pranced a little...but not the teeth jarring prance that he had done in the past. He tried turning sideways on me, and all I had to do was touch him with the spur, and he straightened out. He would also get into his gait...instead of the pacing that he used to do. I was finally able to ride him at the back, in the middle, and ended the ride out in the lead...not because he wanted to be there, but because I did. By the end of the ride, he was anticipating the "touch" when I started to turn my heel in, and would straighten out immediately. It was so nice to have him listen to me instead of me having to listen to him in the group!!!!
I'm definitely NOT telling you to do this, especially without using them before and especially on a 3 yo. My point is that he was picking up on me, and acting out. If you can find that comfort point with her, it is the best thing you can do. Also, if your husband lets her run with him, ride her before he does. I had 2 of my trail riding friends tell my hubby a couple of weeks ago while I was still riding, that if I let him ride Rook and he just let him run, that all he was doing was ruining him for me, and ruining all the work that I had been doing with him. He hasn't asked me to ride him since.
Sorry this is so long, but this is what I've learned through my experience, and hopefully a small bit of it will help you.
Honary "HFA" member...That's right, I'm admitting it!
BTW....That's NOT rain on your windshield!!!!